Samuel Satthianadhan


Corpus Christ College, Cambridge CB2 1RH
United Kingdom
52° 10' 21.3528" N, 0° 6' 40.3992" E
Date of birth: 
01 Jan 1860
Precise DOB unknown: 
City of birth: 
Country of birth: 
Current name city of birth: 
Current name country of birth: 
Date of death: 
01 Jan 1906
Precise date of death unknown: 

Corpus Christi College, Cambridge


Samuel Satthianadhan was born into a Christian family in Madras, the son of Reverend W. T. Satthianadhan. At the end of the 1870s, Satthianadhan went to Cambridge to study law. He wrote a number of articles and sketches about English University life for Indians.

In 1881, Satthianadhan returned to Madras and married Krupabai. Her father was a convert to Christianity. At the time of marriage, Satthianadhan was headmaster of a school in Madras and then Ootacamund. In 1886, he became assistant to the Director of Public Instruction and then later Chair of Logic and Moral Philosophy at Presidency College, Madras. Krupabai had been educated at Madras Medical College and despite arrangements to go to England in 1877 was unable to because of ill-health. She wrote Saguna, which is considered to be the first autobiographical novel in English by an Indian woman. Krupabai died in 1894. Following her death, Samuel married Kamala. Kamala was also a writer and wrote several stories about Indian Christians.

Published works: 

Four Years in an English University (Madras: Lawrence Asylum Press, 1890)

History of Education in the Madras Presidency (Madras: Srinivasa, Varadachari & Co., 1894)

Holiday Trip to Europe and America (Madras: Srinivasa, Varadachari & Co., 1897)

Rev. W. T. Satthianadhan: A Biographical Sketch (Madras: Satthianadhan, 1893)

Six Months in England (Madras: C. K. S. Press, 1881)

Introduction to John Murdoch, Sketches of Indian Christians (London: Christian Literature Society for India, 1896)

Satthianadhan, Kamala and Samuel, Stories of Indian Christian Life (Madras: Srinivasa, Varadachari & Co., 1898)

Contributions to periodicals: 

Cambridge Review ('Gleanings of Hindu Thought', 23 November 1881)

'Indian Students and English Universities', Journal of the National Indian Association 119 (November 1880)

Secondary works: 

De Souza, Eunice (ed.), The Satthianadhan Family Album (New Delhi: Sahitya Akademi, 2005)

Jackson, E. M., 'Glimpses of a prominent Indian Christian Family of Tirunelveli and Madras, 1863-1906: Perspectives on Class, Culture and Conversion', in Robert Eric Frykenberg (ed.) Christians and Missionaries in India: Cross-Cultural Communication since 1500 (London: Routledge Curzon, 2003), pp. 315-35

Satthianadhan, Krupabai, Saguna: The First Autobiographical Novel in English by an Indian Woman, edited by Chandani Lokugé (Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1998)

Sen Gupta, Padmini, The Portrait of an Indian Woman (Calcutta: YMCA Publishing House, 1956)


Four Years in an English University (Madras: Lawrence Asylum Press, 1890), pp.22-3


And where else can a student from India, eager to take in all that is good in English life, find such a society but in a place like Oxford or Cambridge? Here no sooner does he enter his College, than he finds himself in the midst of a refined circle of young men, who are eager to associate with him; here he mingles freely with men probably far above his station in life. There are no invidious distinctions of rank or race, the reverence with which men regard wealth or station being counteracted by the admiration they entertain for the aristocracy of moral or intellectual excellence. I am by no means an enthusiastic admirer of the social life of the English. There are elements in it which are jarring to an Oriental. What I refer to is the social life peculiar to Oxford or Cambridge, characterized as it is by a high, frank, manly tone.